Advertising Is Important For Any Business
Small businesses often rely on word of mouth, which is still one of the best sources of advertising. What do you do if you’re just starting out? Or if your business is drying up:
BurgerHut was always the best lunch destination in town. From the moment they opened, customers constantly flooded in from nearby businesses at lunchtime. The town grew and became more successful. A sushi place opened up next door. Then a pizza place. Then some food trucks. Finally, CoolBurger, a hot burger chain from California opened up across the street and BurgerHut’s owners watched their former customer pass them by. So what happened?
BurgerHut never went online. They thought their customers loved their fries but when people searched online, they saw reviews complaining about their “soggy fries” and also a terrible review from a woman who was completely unreasonable but wrote a compelling and sympathetic review full of lies about BurgerHut. BurgerHut’s Google page had never been claimed and had the wrong address listed, so customers had no hope of finding it. In the meantime, CoolBurger had a whole marketing team. Not only were they online and posting every day on social media, but they also paid for advertising. When people searched for “burger TownName” or “lunch TownName”, they were the top sponsored result on Google. People in town saw ads with promotions on their Facebook and Instagram. Sure, BurgerHut had better burgers, but how could customers ever find out?
The most important thing is to set up your company’s online digital presence and post regularly. The second most important is to invest in advertising. Even if your business is doing well today – especially if it’s doing well! – you should always have an advertising and marketing budget.
Digital Online Ads Are The Best Value For Advertising
A lot of people still pay to put an ad in their local newspaper or on a billboard, but the costs are hundreds, even thousands of dollars more than what you would spend for Google and Facebook ads. Plus you can’t target the ads towards anyone beyond people who drive by or pick up the paper. You also can’t see who sees your ad.
Up until about two years ago, you could still grow a great customer base by just posting on a website or social media (this is called organic posting). However, dramatic changes to platforms like Facebook mean that pages and posts are hidden from people unless they “pay to play” and pay for advertising.
Another thing to note is that, while advertising on a platform like Facebook is quite cheap, there’s a great deal of technical skill involved in creating ads with a good return on investment. First, Facebook encourages you to create ads that don’t have great return which makes sense, they want to make the most money off ads as possible. That’s why boosted posts are usually worthless, and why Facebook pushes so hard for customers to use it. Secondly, it’s an industry open secret that Facebook’s UX (user interface, which means how people navigate a website) is really, really bad. It’s very difficult to find how to post ads, and horror stories abound about deactivated ads turning back on. That’s why there’s a big business in software to create Facebook ads. We love using AdEspresso, but there are other great options out there.
One day, posting ads online will genuinely be so easy, any small business owner could do it in a snap. In the meantime, it’s best to pay a professional to create and monitor your ads for you. You’ll ultimately save money on advertising, so it’s well worth it!